E-cigarettes have been heralded as a disruptive technology because they throw a giant spanner in the works for big tobacco brands all over the world as smokers switch to vaping. That said, big tobacco brands will hardly give up without a fight, and the latest piece of tech is nothing but proof of that.
The iFuse is a ‘hybrid’ cigarette currently being tested in Europe by British American Tobacco (BAT) – the brand behind Lucky Strike and Dunhill smokes. This hybrid cigarette basically takes the technology of an e-cigarette and merges it with a traditional tobacco product.
In a normal vape product, eliquid is heated and turned into a vapour that you inhale. In the iFuse, the liquid is still heated and becomes vapour, but before you inhale it, it passes through actual tobacco to give it more of a ‘cigarette’ flavour. The idea is that this may be more appealing to cigarette smokers as it offers a truer-to-taste vape.
According to BAT managing director of ‘next generation products’ Kingsley Wheaton, this new product is “simpler to use, more compact, more convenient, neater, cleaner and probably attracts a lower excise position.”
Combustible cigarettes burn and release extremely damaging chemicals in doing so. While the iFuse avoids this in the same way that e-cigarettes do, this seems to be a clear attempt at joining the e-cig bandwagon, but one that also seems completely unnecessary.
The thing is, e-cigarettes are already a highly appealing option for smokers who are looking for a change. You can already purchase tobacco-flavoured eliquids that are extremely true to taste, and if you prefer it, you can set your own nicotine strength, too. Plus, e-cigarettes offer hundreds of different flavours, meaning you can opt for that tobacco tang or go for something lighter such as lemon meringue pie or a pina colada – two flavours that definitely don’t mix well with cigarettes!